Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Snowdrop and 'The Listening Programme.'


Snowdrop is pleased to announce that in conjunction with US neurotechnology company ‘Advanced Brain Technologies,’ we are now able to offer our clients ‘The Listening Programme.’ (TLP).

The Listening Programme is a music listening therapy which provides engaging brain stimulation to help ameliorate a range of problems which our children face.

Systematic training is provided through listening to psychoacoustically modified classical music which trains the brain to process sound more efficiently. This can lead to improvements in:

  • Learning
  • Attention
  • Communication
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Sensory Processing
  • Social Engagement
  • Behaviour
  • Self Regulation
  • Musical Ability 

Children, teens and adults can use the programme in the home, classroom or workplace. Completely portable and easy to use, The Listening Programme fits easily into anyone's schedule and only requires 15 to 30 minutes of daily listening.
The Listening Programme is a fusion of beautiful art and sound science. The masterful performances of the award-winning players of the Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble are skillfully crafted using advanced audio technologies to provide an unrivalled listening experience.

How can something that seems so simple - listening to psychoacoustically modified classical music - actually impact a wide range of abilities, such as sensory processing, reading, communication, learning and memory?

Numerous studies worldwide, including research at the University of Sheffield, provide empirical evidence that substantiate The Listening Programme’s efficacy and credibility.
The Listening Programme’s psychoacoustically modified music and production techniques are designed to stimulate or “exercise” the different functions of the auditory processing system. This enables the brain to better receive, process, store and utilise the valuable information provided through the varied soundscapes in our lives such as music, language and the environment in which we live.


THE EAR BRAIN CONNECTION

So the question becomes...how can we overcome auditory processing challenges - moving from a “disorganised” to an “organised” system?

Certain classical music, like that of Mozart, Haydn and Vivaldi, has specific structure, producing sound waves in organized patterns. Within these patterns are vital elements including time, frequency and volume. When listening to music, the ear is receiving the musical sound waves - waves that arrive in different frequencies, measured in Hertz (Hz). These frequencies stimulate the brain, and thus affect different functions of the mind and body.


SPECIFIC FREQUENCIES FOR SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS

The Listening Programme combines decades of clinical research in several fields, including neurology, physiology, psycho-acoustics, auditory processing, music theory and more. The method builds on the work of respected leaders in these fields, such as ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician Alfred A. Tomatis, M.D. (1920-2001). Among other discoveries, Dr. Tomatis helped identify the relationship between certain sound frequencies and their effect on their functions of the mind and body. A simplified explanation of Dr. Tomatis' findings shows that certain brands, or zones, of sound frequencies affect different abilities.

TLP is designed to address these zones, systematically providing auditory stimulation that, when customized for listeners by ABT Providers, can help improve their ability to function in a number of ways.


THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF AUDITORY PROCESSING ARE TRAINED USING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC - FREQUENCY, VOLUME AND TIMING.



How much does 'The Listening Programme' cost?

Unfortunately, the cost is out of Snowdrop's control, but anyone who knows me knows that I would not be offering something unless there was evidence to demonstrate it's effectiveness.  That effectiveness has been demonstrated by my own university the University of Sheffield.

The cost of the 10 psychoacoustically modified CD's which make up the programme is £378.  The additional cost of Snowdrop controlling the programme on a fortnightly basis is an additional £15 per fortnightly consultation. 



The Listening Programme for Schools. 

The cost of TLP for use in a school is £600 plus fortnightly monitoring of the programme by Snowdrop at a cost of £50 per fortnightly consultation.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Keane. - A Case Study From the Snowdrop Programme.

Keane had been born with his twin brother prematurely, he had suffered a bleed to the white matter of his brain around the ventricles, commonly known as ‘periventricular leukomalacia.’ His cerebral aqueduct was also blocked which meant that there had been a build up of cerebrospinal fluid which had caused hydrocephalus.  This had created pressure on the brain which had caused further injuries.  A shunt had been successfully inserted to drain the excess fluid, but to top it all, the hospital had allowed infection to seep in and Keane had contracted severe meningitis.  This had caused even more injuries.

When I first saw Keane, he was 8 months old.  I had been contacted by his mother and had made the trip from Devon to London to assess his developmental problems.  I walked through the front door and into the kitchen where Keane was sitting in a baby bouncing chair and simply staring into space, - he was totally disconnected from what was happening around him, - it was as though someone had found his ‘standby’ button and pressed it.  Mum confirmed that he was like this most of the time.

The diagnosis and prognosis given by the medical professionals was dire.  There had been massive damage to the white matter of the brain, to parts of the cortex, (especially the visual cortex, meaning that Keane was cortically blind) and to parts of the upper brainstem.  The forecast was that Keane would be very severely handicapped for the rest of his life and would be totally dependent in every way for every aspect of his care.
I knew we had no time to lose here and set about designing a programme of developmental stimulation there and then in the family’s front room, which I duly taught to them that same afternoon.  The programme was designed to attack Keane’s problems in every area of development and to stimulate and direct the natural plasticity of the brain.  I knew from both mum and dad’s attitude that they would follow the programme unstintingly every day.

Two months later, I received a telephone call from mum telling me that she thought Keane was beginning to see and that he had become much more alert.  Obviously I was pleased, but I persuaded her that it was still ‘early days’ and that we should keep our feet on the ground and just continue with the programme.

The time quickly came for Keane’s four – monthly reassessment and the family had elected to come and see me in Devon.  I was delighted at what I saw when they walked through the door of the village hall where I see my families.  Keane was clearly scanning his environment and actually made eye contact with me.  As I put him through his paces it was clear that we had woken this little boy from his stupor.  He had made significant gains in every area of development.  I designed a new programme and sent the family home.

Three years down the line, and over those months and years I have received several telephone calls from mum.  The first was to tell me that Keane had begun speaking and that one of his first words was a very well known expletive!  Wonder where he got that one from, - any ideas dad?  The next was to tell me that not only was Keane now walking but that they couldn’t shut him up and he was driving them potty!  Good old Keane.  Recent phone calls complain of him placing himself on the naughty stair after purposefully being naughty and getting into a fight with another child at a family wedding after a child made impolite reference to his red hair.  Mum often makes him talk to me on the phone himself to explain his escapades. 

Keane is now developmentally superior to his twin brother in every area.  It has been a long journey for the family, who have dragged their son out of the depth of his disabilities by working relentlessly every day for three years.  The programme is relentless and is repetitive, but it shows what it is possible to achieve. 

Keane starts at school next year, but it won’t be the special school that everyone expected, - it will be at a mainstream school with his twin brother.  He is now described as ‘precociously intelligent.’  His doctors are amazed and have no explanation for his recovery.  The main thing is that he has his life back.  Instead of what would have been a life of suffering and problems he has a life of hope and opportunity.  That is how powerful brain plasticity can be.

Anyone who would like more information about the Snowdrop programme should go to our website at http://www.snowdrop.cc  or email us at snowdrop_cdc@btinternet.com or you can call for a chat on 01884 38447

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A gift from a Grandmother.

 I just wanted to share a letter I received this morning from a grandmother.  I'm sure you will agree it is humbling.
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"Dear Mr Brereton.
 I wrote to you several years ago after seeing an article in 'Able Magazine' about your dear son Daniel. I wanted more information in order to help my own grandson who had severe, uncontrolled epilepsy among other conditions. In response to my request, you very kindly sent me a letter involving a synopsis of your work, and your book, 'Brain Injured Children; - Tapping the Potential Within.'
I knew just from the title of your book that this could be a very beneficial contact I had made. I read your book avidly from cover to cover. Sadly my dear grandson became seriously ill in August 09 and died in April 10. Therefore I was never able to encourage my family to seek your help and advice.
Our world, as you yourself know, fell apart. - The devastation of losing a child / grandchild cannot be measured. I am in the process of sorting through much paperwork I'd collected regarding my grandson's various conditions, of course I came across your book and letter.
You never charged me for your book, so I am sending you a cheque for £40, which is all I can afford as a thankyou, which will perhaps enable you to send copies of your book to a few more deserving families.
 I feel sure that the work you are doing is invaluable and am only sorry that my dear grandson was never able to benefit from it. I hope you may long continue to help many wonderful children "tap their potential!" Be assured that I will always keep your book and if I have the opportunity to tell other families about your work I will most definitely do so."
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When I have picked the pieces of myself which remain, off the floor, I have 4 free copies of my book to give away. the first 4 people to email me at snowdrop_cdc@btinternet.co​m First come, first serve.